This is the first week of a 6-part series on Lent focusing on Fasting, Prayer, Almsgiving, Confession, Forgiveness and Suffering. Today Art Bennett challenges us to let this Lent be one of personal fasting while simultaneously reaching out to others who need food.
By: Art Bennett
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt 6:25-26).
As we enter into Lent tomorrow, we have a great opportunity to examine our lives: what changes can we make to reunite with Christ and return to Gospel living, our road map to reality. Christ reminds us that people are not objects, things, resources or even just sophisticated animals. We are persons made in His image and likeness. We are free to live responsibly and happily with charity, solidarity, faith, and goodwill.
As we begin our Lenten fast, we are reminded that though we are in the world and require food to live, we are not of the world. We need something even greater to sustain us: the love and grace of God the Father.
As we read St. Matthew’s words above … your heavenly Father feeds them … we should not regard this as indifference to others and the poor. Instead, we should contemplate Pope Francis’ reminder that…This post first appeared on the Catholic Charities of the Arlington Diocese blog on February 9 2016. View the full text here.
Art Bennett is President and CEO, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. He and his wife Laraine are co-authors of four books on temperament and emotions. The Bennett’s are members of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville.